After the coup d’états in Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, what next? The Military has taken over several countries in West Africa, promising to decouple their political and economic institutions from their former colonial power. Many Africans welcome these developments, but the people of Africa deserve meaningful and actual political reforms that can lead to significant economic and social outcomes
For us, the new generation of Africans, it is not enough for the Military to keep blaming the colonial establishment for the woes of Africa. The Military now controls the political, social, and economic institutions. They should provide their citizens with better security and a sustainable development plan that will lead to genuine economic growth and better employment opportunities for their people.
In retrospect, after the Second World War, Egypt, Liberia, and Ethiopia were the only independent states in Africa; the rest of Africa was under colonial occupation, which caused a profound political movement on the continent. The people of Africa demanded the end of colonial rule and exploitation of their resources. Like today in Niger, they were defiant and resolute for political and economic sovereignty.
After gaining independence, there were celebrations across the continent. The leaders at the time promised the people of Africa that they would stand independently and rely on their resources. They promised political sovereignty, stability, peace, justice, and economic prosperity for the people of Africa. But unfortunately, they could not deliver those promises, which resulted in increased poverty on the continent.
The failure to provide good leadership in Africa left the continent in a deep mess; Africa continues to be at the bottom of every development and economic index. We struggle with the challenges of abject poverty and the lack of progress on the continent. Today, the Military asks us to trust them and allow them to govern; they have taken over our lives, giving us the same promises that were given to our people 60 years ago.
But I have news for the Military: if they fail to deliver what they promised us, this new generation of Africans will chase them out of office and replace them with competent civilian leadership. The people of Africa will not allow the Military to repeat the catastrophic mistakes made by the former leaders of Africa.
The new generation of Africans is exposed and connected to the rest of the world; they are young, assertive, educated, brilliant, and technologically advanced. They see their brothers and sisters dying on the Sea every day because they seek better opportunities in places that don’t like them. They know the exploitation of the continent without benefiting them.
The ECOWAS couldn’t invade Niger in large part due to the opposition from young Africans. They saw the attack on Niger as a war on behalf of France and the United States. So, my advice to the Military is to provide a government that is accountable to the people, transparent and willing to fight corruption, and encourage dialogue, openness, and more freedom so that the African people can unleash their God-given talents.
They should encourage and support entrepreneurship, agriculture, education, and healthcare delivery systems. They should improve the infrastructure and upgrade the road connectivity and bridges. Most importantly, they should demand a fair price for African resources, foster international cooperation with all countries, and always advance Africa’s interests.